The Marysville City Council on May 11 unanimously approved a letter to Gov. Jay Inslee. The letter states:
We thank you for your efforts to safeguard our state from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Collectively, our citizens were understanding and compliant with your stay-at-home order. Many were concerned there was no clear plan for getting us out of the crisis, so we certainly appreciate that a plan was presented on May 1st.
Notwithstanding our appreciation of your phased plan, there is considerable disappointment and frustration by our citizens that there is so much time between phases. We encourage you to consider a more expedited phase-in of activities. The need to do so is dire in terms of the devastating and cascading economic damage that is being done to our community and to our small businesses in particular. Small businesses are the backbone of our state’s economy and are what make each community unique. It is unfair to keep them closed while allowing big businesses to continue to operate.
We are concerned that your data-driven decision making seems to only focus on one side of the equation. The societal and economic ills resulting from your orders need to be factored into your decisions. The economic, social, and emotional impact to individuals, families, and businesses has been significant. It is simply not enough to talk of infection rates and testing without serious consideration of the lost jobs, bankrupted businesses, and the social and mental detriment that is following as a result.
Lastly, increasing numbers of our citizens are expressing concern over the intrusion on their rights and liberties. We very much appreciate the recent allowance for drive-in style church services, but many believe we can and should be able to do much more. Now more than ever, our churches are needed to provide hope and support to the many victims of this crisis in a way that the government simply cannot.
In light of this extreme crisis, we strongly encourage you to do the following:
- Equally factor economic impacts in your data-driven decision making. Disclose the actual numerical measurements of the metrics you are watching. Currently, citizens have no idea what is considered “safe enough” to reopen. Without this clarity, you are exasperating them while asking them to surrender their freedoms and livelihoods.
- Expedite and modify the time between phases in your plan to allow people to return to work and businesses to recover.
- Recognize and show respect for citizens’ liberties and rights, including the freedom of association, assembly, and religious observance. Churches and other private groups have a unique and vital role to play in these trying times and should not be hindered.
We recognize and acknowledge the weighty decisions you make are extremely difficult. We ask you to examine and consider all of the serious economic, mental, and social impacts these decisions have on all Washingtonians. Please listen to and have faith in the people of Washington to move forward and safely get back to work. The economic and overall health of our citizens, our cities, and our state depends on it.
Marysville City Council
Council President Kamille Norton
Councilmember Jeffrey Vaughan
Councilmember Tom King
Councilmember Mark James
Councilmember Michael Stevens
Councilmember Kelly Richards
Councilmember Stephen Muller